The shooting at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises led to discussions about on-screen violence and its effects on the audiences. A number of prominent film critics have given their opinion on the issue.
Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times wrote that it is impossible to be surrounded by violent cinematic culture and not wonder if it has any effect on the audience. He added that people should not point fingers. Instead, people must take the initiative and share responsibility. If violence can’t be removed in pop culture, then people should stop pretending that there are no consequences to having it easily available for everyone.
Anthony Lane of the New Yorker said that the notion of a masked gunman shooting at innocent people has on-screen parallels, movies should not be blamed for the violent actions made by the shooter. A film can’t make you kill.
Roger Ebert shred Lane’s sentiments. He said that there’s no link between movies and gun violence. He added that the link is between violence and the publicity. He suspected that the shooter doesn’t care about Batman but rather he cared about seeing himself on the news.
Dana Stevens of Slate also shared Lane and Ebert’s opinions. He said that he can’t get away from the fact that the massacre happened and it involved a lot of advance planning. It happened at an opening-night midnight screening of The Dark Knight, which is a movie about a modern lawless society where such a thing could happen.
Andrew O’Hehir of Salon asked if Batman is guilty for what happened in Aurora, Colorado. He said that as a film critic and civil libertarian, he doesn’t believe that fictional violence can lead to real violence in any direct or causative manner. There’s no black-and-white- answer to the issue at hand.